Last night the world (at least the ones who paid $20) finally saw the reveal of a couple old Kodak slides that for for over a year had been teased as a world-changing event. After nearly three hours of exposition and interviews during the beWITNESS live event, we were finally presented with two old slides that showed… a sideshow mummy. It was a bummer.
Referred to for the last year as the “Roswell Slides”, many UFO enthusiasts spent the last several months nervously awaiting their much-hyped reveal, hopeful that they might shed a light on the government coverup at Roswell, others fearful that the whole event would bring further criticism of the field, particularly after the whole debacle with Steven Greer’s Sirius documentary a few years back. Unfortunately, it appears that their fears weren’t without reason.
According to the people behind the upcoming Kodachrome documentary, the slides were allegedly snapped by Bernerd A. Ray, an oil exploration geologist who worked in the deserts near Roswell back in the 40s. Eventually, as these stories tend to go, the slides were discovered hidden away in an envelope stuffed in an attic before being stumbled onto by a lucky researcher.
When the Kodachrome slides were finally revealed last night to a backdrop of royalty-free X-Files theme knockoffs, the disappointment was palpable. The audience was free of gasps, the government didn’t shut down the feed, and the group I was watching the livestream with, comprised of veteran paranormal investigators like John E.L. Tenney, Week In Weird‘s own Dana Matthews, and SHOCK’s Jeff Waldridge, couldn’t stop laughing about how much the alien looked like the smoking guy from the Beetlejuice waiting room scene.
“What is depicted is really there, accurately reflected in the emulsion as an actual moment in time in 1947,” said researcher Anthony Baraglia. “Science has weighed in and has determined that these are real slides that are really from 1947. The Only Conclusion: This humanoid is not a deformed person, mummy, dummy, simian or dead serviceman…. It is not a creature that finds its origin on Earth.”
Others, mainly those who had paid $20 to livestream the event, weren’t nearly as positive. Nick Redfern, noted investigator of UFO phenomena, was able to sum his response up in just a couple sentences:
“Roswell Slides? Now we have the high res image, the answer is: No! Mummified child. Also, check out the hairy head behind the main head. It too has a small white placard by it. Clearly this is some sort of museum setting, or freak show. Interesting, but it has zero relevance to Roswell.”
Redfern’s impressions, particularly that we were looking at the desiccated corpse of a child, were echoed loudly through the field of ufology this morning, with a few researchers even believing that they’ve found the child mummy in question.
According to José Antonio Caravaca of Blue Blurry Lines, researchers Gilles Fernandez and Curt Collins have found evidence that they believe points to the “alien” being a mummy discovered in the city of Thebes, Egypt in 1856, but transferred to a Philadelphia museum in 1860. They hypothesize that a closer look at the “Kodachrome Alien” can be had at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, where they believe mummy currently sits.
But despite the lack of a body, the fact that it’s shown displayed on a case reminiscent of a museum, its remarkable likeness to a mummy discovered in Egypt, or the way the event organizers felt the need to animate the mummy into an Ally Mcbeal-esque dancing CGI baby, the most telling piece of the Roswell Slides event was the face of famed UFO researcher Richard Dolan during his closing talks.
As Dolan stood at the podium, it wasn’t hard to see him visibly wince as he struggled to say the words “remarkable event”, sighing heavily as he slogged through a speech he had seemingly written before he was shown the slides. I sincerely felt bad for him. Never has dropping the microphone after a speech been more uncomfortable.
The question is, what do we do, as researchers and lovers of the anomalous, now that the so-called Roswell slides have been released to the world? We do exactly what Dolan did on stage – we move right along to the next fascinating mystery, reminding the world that no matter how many “Georgia Bigfoots“, “Amityville Horrors”, or “Roswell Slides” set out to distract the world from actual research into the unexplained, our jobs aren’t done. Who knows how many genuine mysteries are waiting for us to discover them in a dusty old attic?
Now, forget about the Roswell Slides and get back to work.